Based on the “アウトブレイク・カンパニー ～萌える侵略者～” light novel series written by Sakaki Ichirou, the plot synopsis and promo for new anime “Outbreak Company” suggested it would be this season’s token otaku harem series.
After three episodes, it is clear this show will live up to its genre’s generalizations, but must admit it also offers more. While it does contain the usual tropes and genre classics, it surprisingly borrows unexpected elements from other genres too, and has been better than hoped.
The core story is about hardcore otaku Shinichi who after having become a shut-in, finds himself employed by the JSDF to promote otaku culture in a country from another dimension, where magic and fantasy are a reality. Of course, hijinks ensue when his otaku self clashes with a reality so vastly different from our world.
Where the series offers more than what I had expected, is how it has the main character face the darker side of this other world, where racism, class division, poverty, illiteracy are rampant. Not only that, but “Outbreak Company” shows Shinichi take what actions he can to change things, while also acknowledging that our own society is not without its faults either.
For a harem series with fantasy elements, such elements and gray areas are a welcome surprise. Although most characters still seem to be default templates, they do show promise, especially Shinichi is an interesting mix of traits from the generic hardcore otaku character and the main action genre hero character type. He is neither the typical perverted, useless otaku or the self-righteous, powerful hero, but a more realistic mix of the two.
Not only Shinichi fawns over Myucel, I too can hardly resist the cute elf maid whose combo of elf ears, maid outfit, gentle demeanor, servile nature and shapely curves would prove fatal for any viewer. Myucel even gives Minori a run for her money in my book, which is something considering such well-endowed mature characters with glasses are usually more my style.
Petralka is a gem of the typical noble loli tsundere character type, though am curious to see how she will evolve for there might be more to her than meets the eye.
Am curious how the show will evolve over the coming episodes, since it already offered plenty of depth, action and other elements one wouldn’t expect from the average otaku harem series.
Animation by studio Feel is quite good, while nothing like the style they used on “Minami-ke Tadaima”, it does bear more resemblance to their work on “Mayo Chiki!”. While the studio visibly spends most effort on character rendering and facial expressions, not all scenes achieve the same animation level, leading to occasional quality inconsistencies.
Irresistibly cute maid Myucel is voiced by Mimori Suzuko who also voiced Himawari in “Yuru Yuri”, Himiko in “Btooom!”,Sherlock in “Tantei Opera Milky Holmes”, Umi in “Love Live!” and Kanzashi in this season’s “IS: Infinite Stratos 2”.
Tsundere loli Petralka is voiced by Fuchigami Mai, she also voiced Miho in “Girls und Panzer”, Maekawa in “Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko” and Iona in this season’s “Arpeggio of Blue Steel”.
Uchida Maaya voices shapely Minori, she previously tackled roles like Rein in “Vividred Operation”, Rikka in “Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!”, Hajime in “Gatchaman Crowds”, Rea in “Sankarea” and Frenda in “To aru Kagaku no Railgun S”.
Elbia, who has yet to appear, will be voiced by Uesaka Sumire who also voiced Sanae in “Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!”, Sora in “Papa no Iu koto o Kikinasai”, Rika in “Genshiken Nidaime” and Manai in “Fantasista doll”.
If you’re looking for a harem comedy that also offers some more serious themes and action with fantasy elements, then “Outbreak Company” might be right up your alley!